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We report on the subpicosecond switch-off of the emission of an electrically pumped quantum-dot (QD) laser with perturbation by a 100 fs optical pulse. The observed effect is in contrast to known ones for quantum-well laser diodes. This is explained by unique properties of the QDs, namely by the fast modal gain saturation and localization-enhanced intraband absorption. The QD laser response can be described in terms of hot carrier absorption in the barrier states via intraband optical transitions leading to the transient suppression of the laser mode and, hence, to the switch-off. © 2002 American Institute of Physics.